Winter is the season of rest. Harvests are in, stores are full and the pantry is overflowing with preserved staples for the cold months.

While modern life pays less heed to nature’s ebb and flow, we can’t deny the natural urge that comes over us to cosy up indoors and seek out relaxing comforts during this time of year. The biggest winter comfort is, of course, food – fragrant soups, hearty stews, rich curries and decadent desserts!

It goes without saying that here at The Turbine Hotel & Spa, we believe that healthy diets necesitate moderation, not restriction. Our on-site eatery, The Island Café, embodies this philosophy with a wide variety of fresh seasonal ingredients combined in beautiful dishes guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out!

Keep scrolling to discover a few of our favourite winter warmer dishes; soul food for the chilly season, with an undeniable South African twist!

Fair warning: Don’t read this if you’re hungry!

D’s Signature Seafood Curry

If you only try one seafood dish during your stay with us, it should be Doretta’s Seafood Curry – a showstopper in looks and flavour!

Ideal for chilly weather, this dish consists of fresh seasonal seafood simmered in D’s jealously-guarded tomato curry recipe, incorporating exotic spices that give the dish heat without the burn.

The curry is served on a bed of steamed coconut rice and is accompanied by cucumber, yoghurt and pickled coconut to balance out the spice profile and soothe the palate.

Grilled Linefish

If you’re looking for something lighter, try our perfectly grilled linefish, a classic fish dish that celebrates the clean flavour of the sea – no fuss.

Our linefish is served with steamed baby vegetables, confit tomatoes and a vanilla & lime velouté.

This dish pairs perfectly with a glass of chilled white wine – take your pick from our extensive wine list.

Venison Pie

Is there anything more hearty than a flavourful venison pie, topped off with a flaky crust of perfectly baked pastry?

Stop by to sample this winter delight, served with a white bean cassoulet, citrus gremolata and scented carrot purée.


“Charlesford Farm” Pork Belly

Did you know that chefs like cooking with pork because of its versatility? It can be adapted to suit almost any flavour profile.

We like to make ours with a satisfyingly crunchy layer of crackling and serve it with roast baby potatoes, vegetables & aubergine chutney – a unique South African take on a succulent dish.

Something Sweet

Linger longer and round your meal off with coffee accompanied by a delicious sweet treat before you go.

In honour of winter’s chilly embrace, we’d like to highlight our excessively decadent Sticky Toffee Pudding, a Saffa favourite for a reason!

Served warm, this dessert is accompanied by date purée, almond crunch & cassata ice-cream.

Gastro Pub Eats

If you’re looking for a more laidback setting, pop into The Gastro Pub for delicious tapas-style dining, ideal for those inbetween times when you’re feeling a bit peckish.

Sample one of the beers on tap or get our barmen to mix you a fruity cocktail as the day winds down.

You can browse The Gastro Pub’s full menu here.

Stay With Us

For a rejuvenating weekend away in Knysna, consider The Turbine Hotel & Spa, a luxury 5-star property right on the waterways of Thesen Island.

From fantastic food to beautiful accommodations with unbeatable views over the Knysna Lagoon, consider us your ideal winter getaway location!

Book online or by contacting us directly at

We look forward to welcoming you to Thesen Island!

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